The Solicitors Regulation Authority should make business and human rights an integral part of its legal training requirements and continued professional development, a Law Society committee has recommended.
The proposal appears in a set of recommendations published last night by the Society's Business and Human Rights Advisory Group in response to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
These principles, endorsed by the UN in 2011, create a 'corporate responsibility to respect human rights'.
Chancery Lane said there is a business case for the legal profession to follow the UN guiding principles, as they are ‘increasingly being reflected and referred to in law, regulation, contracts and dispute resolution’.
Nick Fluck, president, said adopting the guiding principles will ‘ensure our profession retains a competitive advantage in what is an increasingly globalised marketplace’.
He said: ‘We take seriously the role we can play raising awareness of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and how they can and should be applied to solicitors.’
The advisory group also recommends drafting a human rights policy in line with the guiding principles; the development of ‘user friendly’ advice, guidance and training by the Law Society and a programme of awareness raising.
The Society will now consult with members.